Playing guitar strings that aren’t the right fit for your playing style is like wearing the wrong size shoe — it’s just not comfortable. If you find yourself bouncing between gauges and neither feels just right, then half-gauge guitar strings may be the solution.
For a long time, the only way to achieve these goldilocks gauges were to buy individual strings and create your ideal pairing. Lucky for you, we’re perfectionists. And our perfectionism led us to creating two half-gauge sets to add to our world-renowned Slinky lineup. Introducing Primo and Mega.
But why half-gauges in the first place? Does 0.5 in gauge really make a difference. To some, not really. But to others, it can completely change your playing style and overall sound. If you’re still uncertain, we’re here to help simplify the half-gauge paradox.
Aside from comfort, half-gauges are a great way to maintain consistency across your instruments, or balance your go-to rig. One of the best ways to utilize half-gauges is to compensate different scale lengths across different models of guitars.
For example, a Gibson has a scale length of 24 3/4 inches, while an Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass has a scale length of 25 1/2 inches. If you were to put a set of Super Slinkys on both of these models and play them side by side, you’ll notice the Cutlass has a lot more tension on it than the Gibson.
Half gauges are great for compensating this difference, because they give you just enough change in tension to account for the difference in scale length. So the key is to adjust a half-gauge lighter for whichever scale is longer.
However, we aren’t suggesting that all of your rigs need to be adjusted to the same tension. After all, different models with different adjustments lend to a vast arsenal of tones. But if you prefer to keep things consistent, utilizing half-gauges can benefit you as a player.
If balancing your rig is not your top priority, our half-gauge strings are perfect for when you want just a little more. The 9.5 gauge carries the flexibility of a 9, while offering the fuller, fatter tone of 10s.
But if you pick up a pack of our new Slinkys, you’ll quickly realize the difference in gauge is not as subtle as may be expected. We’ve designed our sets in a way that the half-gauges become more noticeable across all six strings. While the difference between 9 and 9.5 isn’t very substantial, a 9.5-44 set is noticeably different from a 10-46 or 9-42. It’s the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” kind of thing.
Botton line, the Mega set is great for players who prefer a thicker sounding set with only a slight difference in tension and feel, while the Primo set is perfect for players who are looking for added playability with minimal differences in tone and tension.
So there you have it! If you’re inspired to venture into the half-gauge world, find a pack for yourself, or learn more about our different gauge offerings.